When the oil runs out...

Ash

Warming-Up
Apr 23, 2006
686
1
0
shakujiidai, nerima ku, tokyo
#1
Here is a tale about how the US Government has come to the shocking conclusion that we are running out of oil :rolleyes:

http://www.alternet.org/story/66625/?page=1

The following quote is from the concluding paragraph:

"As this brief assessment suggests, the passing of peak oil will have profound and lasting consequences for this country, with no easy solutions. In facing this future, we must, above all, disavow any simple answers, such as energy "independence" based on the pillage of America's remaining wilderness areas or the false promise of corn-based ethanol (which can supply only a tiny fraction of our transportation requirements). It is clear, moreover, that many of the fuel alternatives proposed by the Bush Administration pose significant dangers of their own and so should be examined carefully before vast public sums are committed to their development. The safest and most morally defensible course is to repudiate any "consensus" calling for the use of force to protect overseas petroleum supplies and to strive to conserve what remains of the world's oil by using less of it."

Well folks , the point being that one of the most practical solutions for the short term at least until technology provides us with workable alternatives is simply to use less oil. Where though do we find the biggest user or rather waster of oil? Yep, it’s the CAR.

Therefore before we fry the planet or go off to war in search of more oil again, will we have the courage to institute the type of radical change to our methods of transport that such a crisis necessitates? Personally, I doubt it. But I do believe individuals make a difference and it is our individual actions such as commuting by bike (see Ash's blog for other rants on this subject!) that lead to change.

Comments (especially on bike commuting) welcome!
 
Nov 9, 2006
303
0
36
Yokohama
#2
CO2 Footprint

Here is a tale about how the US Government has come to the shocking conclusion that we are running out of oil :rolleyes:

http://www.alternet.org/story/66625/?page=1

The following quote is from the concluding paragraph:

"As this brief assessment suggests, the passing of peak oil will have profound and lasting consequences for this country, with no easy solutions. In facing this future, we must, above all, disavow any simple answers, such as energy "independence" based on the pillage of America's remaining wilderness areas or the false promise of corn-based ethanol (which can supply only a tiny fraction of our transportation requirements). It is clear, moreover, that many of the fuel alternatives proposed by the Bush Administration pose significant dangers of their own and so should be examined carefully before vast public sums are committed to their development. The safest and most morally defensible course is to repudiate any "consensus" calling for the use of force to protect overseas petroleum supplies and to strive to conserve what remains of the world's oil by using less of it."

Well folks , the point being that one of the most practical solutions for the short term at least until technology provides us with workable alternatives is simply to use less oil. Where though do we find the biggest user or rather waster of oil? Yep, it’s the CAR.

Therefore before we fry the planet or go off to war in search of more oil again, will we have the courage to institute the type of radical change to our methods of transport that such a crisis necessitates? Personally, I doubt it. But I do believe individuals make a difference and it is our individual actions such as commuting by bike (see Ash's blog for other rants on this subject!) that lead to change.

Comments (especially on bike commuting) welcome!
Not a big "Global Warming" harbringer, but I don`t own a car; I bike or take the train.
 

evan06

Warming-Up
Jul 23, 2007
103
0
0
Yokosuka
#3
I would like to build a house that requires human power for say watching tv, or to get the hot water heater warmed up, washing clothes, etc....ok that is a little extreme.

I am big proponent of public transportation in an around major metropolitan areas. I would even support a ban on all personal vehicles within the city limits. I do own a car, only because of my wife, but I either ride or run to work. I know many military installations are moving to electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles to cut back on its consumption. It is sad that the Department of Defense burns more fuel in a year than a majority of countries and is the largest consumer of said product in the US.

As far as America is concerned, there needs to be a major shift in the cultural mindset. Just because the price of oil has seen a measurable increase really has not had that much of an impact on Americans driving habits. They have essentially found other areas of waste which they can mitigate so that they may fund their driving needs. Personally, I would love to see gas hit about $6-8 a gallon, not sure what that would equate to in liters, and then maybe Americans would change their ways.


James
 
Nov 9, 2006
303
0
36
Yokohama
#4
As far as America is concerned, there needs to be a major shift in the cultural mindset. Just because the price of oil has seen a measurable increase really has not had that much of an impact on Americans driving habits. They have essentially found other areas of waste which they can mitigate so that they may fund their driving needs. Personally, I would love to see gas hit about $6-8 a gallon, not sure what that would equate to in liters, and then maybe Americans would change their ways.
James
I believe there are 3.8 litres to a gallon.
 
Aug 17, 2007
121
0
36
Yotsuya, Tokyo
#5
Villainizing the Car...

Commuting by bike works well for me, but I am not so sure that the car is our biggest concern. That's not to say that if everyone used their four wheel friends more responsibly or more conservatively, we'd make a considerable dent in oil consumption.

No, the research points its accusatory fingers at trans-marine travel, military engagements and the trucking industry. I read somewhere that I can drive my car to work every day for over a year and I still won't use as much oil as I do when I board a jumbo with a suitcase and fly home to Canada. A sobering thought, the next time we book a holiday in Hawaii.

Remember those fabulous road trips you took in the family station wagon? Mum & Dad drove my sister and I all over the western states of America in the balmy eighties. Regular holidays clocked anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 miles. But I did my fair share of cycling holidays, too. (Didn't get so far, of course...)

When I lived in England as a child, our house was heated by oil. It was a huge, old, drafty place, and much of the time it never rose above 65 degrees as Dad was pretty tight-fisted! Yes, costs do make a difference to consumption.

And the trucking industry sucks up a fair bit of fuel, too. Why does fruit cost such a lot? More trains would help, although it seems in Canada at least that train tracks are being decommissioned at an alarming rate. Rail corridors become recreational cycle / hiking paths, though.

And I can't imagine how much fuel gets burned up keeping the world's military powers on high alert for just a single day. What's the fuel consumption on a single patrol for two F-18s launched from a mammoth aircraft carrier? It is a lamentable irony that the U.S. may well use almost as much oil securing its precious flow as remains in the Middle East!

But, the consumption of oil seems so intimately embedded with our standard of living as to be almost inextricable. And, the bottom line might not be, What are you willing to give up to save our planet? but, If you give up oil-based luxuries, who's going to stop someone else from taking your place?

Sometimes, I think we may just scrape through because when we run out of oil and other fossil fuels, we may provide our gracious host (this planet) the chance to rebalance herself, to repair the damage we've done. In the big picture, I don't think humans can really do that much damage. We might kill off life in its current cycle, but I doubt that we're "good enough" to snuff it out altogether. The earth will sluff us off, as it did the dinosaurs... (and they ruled for over one hundred million years!)

Actually, the solution lies with the individual, I feel sure. The shift in cultural mindset, as Evan06 puts it. And I love the idea that you have to cycle on a fixed bike to get a TV running - a sort of sin tax that makes you and the planet healthier!

Well, I think I'd better drive round the corner for a coffee at Tim Hortons...

Later,
Andrew
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#6
But, the consumption of oil seems so intimately embedded with our standard of living as to be almost inextricable. And, the bottom line might not be, What are you willing to give up to save our planet? but, If you give up oil-based luxuries, who's going to stop someone else from taking your place?
The tragedy of the commons.

Enjoying the thoughtful posts, even though I find the entire topic a bit of a downer... Using up the oil/coal/gas is ultimately inevitable. The question is, can we come up with another energy source while we're still enjoying this one-shot-only prosperity that is fuelled by the net energy surplus gifted us by fossil fuels?